• Best-value way to visit northern Peru highlights in 12 days ... in comfort. 

  • Small group departures using private transport and best hotels in region. 

  • Amazon rainforest, Kuelap, Gocta Falls, Tucume & Chan Chan included.

  • Price: from £1,424 / $US1,880 per person (based on double occupancy). 

Peru is rightly proud of its natural heritage, which encompasses Selva (Amazon Jungle), Sierra (Andes Mountains) and Costa (Pacific Ocean). And this Northern Peru route will enable you to sample in depth all three wildly-different environments in twelve days, travelling overland in a comfortable private vehicle. 

Beginning in the jungle city of Tarapoto, in the humid heart of Amazonia, we have a chance to enjoy the rich flora and fauna, staying at a jungle lodge, before heading westwards and upwards into the Andes, and the various rain forest systems of San Martin and Amazonas provinces. 

In the cloud forests of Chachapoyas can be found both natural wonders, such as Gocta Falls, and man-made, notably Kuelap Fortress, and we spend several days exploring this region before continuing over the Continental Divide to the coast. 

Here, we enjoy the spectacular pre-Inca archeology and desert environment around Chiclayo, before ending the tour in the Colonial city of Trujillo, home to the huge Moche citadel of Chan Chan

This route has long been appreciated by backpackers with time on their hands, and a willingness to rough it on long-distance buses and in basic accommodation, in order to witness the area's fabulous highlights. Now, though, you can enjoy this little-visited area, without sacrificing your comforts or breaking the bank, on our group departures, that still use private transport and the best accommodation available, and are guaranteed to depart with just two people. 

If you prefer to do this in a private service, with dates and itinerary to suit, just ask us how. 

Please note that there are departures that go from Trujillo to Tarapoto. Click here for more details. 

Itinerary

Day 1 / TARAPOTO: AMAZON VALLEYS & CANYONS

Reception at Tarapoto airport and departure towards Pumarinri Lodge, following the Mayo and Huallaga valleys and canyons, stopping at the spots of major scenic or ecological interest en route.

Arrival at Pumarinri Lodge.

Afternoon walk on the Coca Circuit and other trails in the lodge grounds, followed by free time to enjoy the pool.

Dinner & Overnight at Pumarinri Lodge.

Day 2 / TARAPOTO: RAINFOREST, WATERFALLS & MIGHTY RIVERS

Breakfast followed by a morning hike through the Amazon rainforest, observing a variety of forest features from palm trees, vines, epiphytes and hardwood trees to bullet ants, morpho butterflies and poison dart frogs.

At the end of this walk we have a refreshing swim at Pucayaquillo Waterfall. Lunch.

In the afternoon, boat trip along the Huallaga River, between the Estero and Chumia rapids, and a forest walk in the Cordillera Azul National Park.

Dinner & Overnight at Pumarinri Lodge.

Day 3 / TARAPOTO: AMAZON PEOPLES & CULTURES

Breakfast and depart towards Chasuta, a native village on the banks of the Huallaga River, to visit the native pottery centre, Wasichay, and a community chocolate workshop.

After that, we take a boat to visit an organic cocoa plantation on a Shilcayo River island. We also learn about other tropical crops and a sustainable use of the rainforest. Snack box en route.

Return to Pumarinri for a late lunch followed by a free afternoon. A further chance to use the lodge's pool, perhaps, or explore more of the trails. 

Dinner & Overnight at Pumarinri Lodge.

Day 4 / TARAPOTO - GOCTA: FROM THE AMAZON TO THE ANDES

Breakfast and early departure towards the Andes.

First stop is at Moyobamba to visit an orchid botanical garden.

Second stop at the Marvelous Spatuletail Visitors Centre, to watch this amazing hummingbird amongst many other colourful species, and enjoy our boxed lunch.

We hope to arrive at our accommodation in time to enjoy the sunset in front of Gocta Falls, one of the highest in the world, in the heart of the Peruvian northern Andes.

Dinner & Overnight at Gocta Lodge.

DAY 5 / GOCTA FALLS

Breakfast.

From Gocta Lodge there's an amazing view of the falls, but the trail leading to them is even more breathtaking. It is a two hour hike (each way), passing through Andean orchards and lush forest full of bromeliads and orchids. NB. There is the option to do this trail on horseback (at a small extra cost).

Lunch at the lodge, followed by a free afternoon to rest or explore the local village of Cocachimba

Dinner & Overnight at Gocta Lodge.

Day 6 / KUELAP FORTRESS 

After breakfast we start driving along the Utcubamba Valley, between bromeliads and cacti, towards Tingo. Here we begin to ascend, through traditional Andean villages, to Kuelap Fortress, located at an altitude of 3,000m (9,842ft).

Guided visit of Kuelap archaeological site, followed by lunch in the village of Maria.

Return to Gocta Lodge

Dinner & Overnight at Gocta  Lodge.

Day 7 / LEYMEBAMBA: MAUSOLEUMS AND MUMMIES

Breakfast and departure towards the high Utcubamba Valley.

On the road to Leymebamba we stop to visit Revash Mausoleums, involving a two hour hike.

Back on the road again, we arrive at Leymebamba for lunch and an afternoon visit to the Mummies Museum.

Return to Gocta Lodge for dinner & overnight.

Day 8 / KARAJIA'S SARCOPHAGI

Breakfast and tour to Luya Valley.

Chachapoyas culture was the only one in the Americas to build sarcophagi for burials, which are located on massive cliffs, often carved and decorated. We visit the Karajia sarcophagi.

In the afternoon we visit the Colonial capital of the region, Chachapoyas.

Dinner & Overnight at Gocta Lodge.

Day 9 / GOCTA - TUCUME: DRIVE TO THE DESERT OF THE PYRAMIDS

Breakfast and early departure towards Lambayeque.

Stop at Abra Porculla, the lowest Andean mountain pass between the Caribbean to Patagonia, for a boxed lunch.

Arrival in Tucume and visit to Tucume Pyramids (the largest pyramid complex in the Americas) and museum.

Dinner & Overnight at Los Horcones Hotel, or similar.

Day 10 / CHICLAYO: THE LORD OF SIPAN

Breakfast and departure to visit Tumbas Reales Museum, in Lambayeque, where the Lord of Sipan is exhibited.

Lunch in Pimentel, overlooking the sea, watching the fishermen come ashore on reed rafts known as Caballitos de Totora.

Afternoon visit to Huaca Rajada and back to Los Horcones.

Dinner & Overnight at Los Horcones.

Day 11 / TUCUME - TRUJILLO: EL BRUJO, SEÑORA DE CAO & CHAN CHAN

Breakfast and departure towards Trujillo.

Visit to El Brujo & Señora de Cao museum and archaeological site followed by lunch in the coastal resort of Huanchaco coastal town.

Afternoon visit to Chan Chan citadel, the largest mud brick (adobe) city in America.

Dinner and overnight at Trujillo 3* Hotel.

Day 12 / COLONIAL TRUJILLO AND HUACA DE LA LUNA

Breakfast followed by morning visit to Huaca de la Luna archaeological site and museum.

Walking city tour around Trujillo Colonial centre.

Transfer to airport or bus terminal. 

End of tour.